Mary Prince’s narrative aroused within me emotions and outrage that Equiano failed to stir, much to my exasperation.
Where Equiano’s accounts of his life as a slave seem to be recounted with little emotion or specific detail, Prince’s captures the emotions and horrific uncertainty associated with life in slavery. In fact, I found Prince’s hope despite her grave circumstances extremely moving in a way that Equiano’s was not. Each time she is sold or lent to a new owner, she hopes the change will improve her situation. Her consent disappointment is heartbreakingly expressed when she voices her opinion the she feels as if she is simply “going from one butcher to another” (10). To me, the way that Equiano details his journey seems more academic and essay-like, where as Prince’s story is wrought with emotion. I found myself hating Captain I– and Mr. D– and all the others, while at the same time feeling ashamed that slavery was once a reality and people truly did go through similar if not more brutal horrors, and will never have their story told the way Prince’s was. I believe Prince’s narrative is one of the more important things I’ve read in school. Her first hand account held details and rawness a textbook could never convey.
While I do believe Equiano’s narrative was an extremely important step in the right direction for the anti-slavery campagne, I think Prince’s was more adept at truly calling to mind the horrors of slavery and that although the slave trade was outlawed in England it called Britain to recognize that the horrors of slave life on plantations still persisted for many.